Greater KY Tattoo Expo :: EXPO

Western Kentucky University

Greater KY Tattoo Expo

This weekend, the Greater Kentucky Tattoo and Piercing Expo looks to showcase just that.

The fifth annual Tattoo Expo is bringing over 50 talented and award-winning tattoo and piercing artists from across the globe to the Lexington Convention Center this weekend. When Greg Huser, owner of Castle of Color and the prime coordinator of the event, says artists from across the globe, he’s not exaggerating.

“We have the best in the business coming in this weekend, including artists from places like Nevada and New York, but also from places like China and Germany, ” Huser said.

The event started in 2005 after Huser had been attending conventions on his own and noticed there were shows in nearby areas like Knoxville, Tenn., and Columbus, Ohio, but none in the Lexington area. He then teamed up with friends and peers in the business to organize the event.

Huser estimated that roughly 850 people attended the event its first year, and that number swelled to 2, 000 in 2008. He expects attendance to be around 2, 000 this year, but is unsure how the economy will affect the turnout.

“I don’t know how many people will be there, or if the economy will have an impact on the numbers, but our industry really hasn’t been affected by the economy. At least not yet, ” Huser said. “I’m a news junkie; I like to keep up on that kind of stuff, so I told my employees to save their money. We expected a downturn and it never came. So hopefully the same goes for this weekend.”

The event is more interactive than a simple display of tattoos and piercings. Huser said there will be contests, such as the best piercing and tattoo. Sixty-eight trophies will be given away in multiple categories.

Along with the tattoos and piercings, there will be magicians and multiple sideshows, Huser said.

In the past, the event has had some of its artists perform suspensions, in which a person is lifted from the ground by the peircings in their back or shoulders. This is just one of multiple unusual shows the event has hosted.

“Last year we had two beautiful, nude ladies lay on top of one another, the one on top with rings inserted in peircings down her back, the one on the bottom with the rings in her side, and the two were laced together by ribbons while photographers shot them. It’s living abstract art, ” Huser said. “Of course, we do some weird genitalia piercings that can get pretty strange sometimes. Use your imagination on that one.”

Despite the risque content, Huser ensures the Expo is a family event. Any controversial tattoos, piercings and events are done in isolation in order to guarantee as comfortable an atmosphere as possible for attendees of all ages.

One of the things Huser most looks forward to about the event is breaking some of the stereotypes people have.

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In between competitions, we performed for thousands of people at venues such as the Twin Cities Pet Expo. After shows and competitions, many of the families would stick around to meet and pet the dogs.

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